The Matter Of Miracles -- By: George Lindley

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 087:345 (Jan 1930)
Article: The Matter Of Miracles
Author: George Lindley


The Matter Of Miracles

George Lindley

Miracles And Faith

Oft have we seen how the modern critical and scientific mind is apt to sneer with a sort of supercilious superiority at a faith that depends on what it denominates material manifestations. To said mind such a thing as a miracle as a begetter or strengthener of faith is a crude and low ground for faith. To some slight degree we may sympathize with this particular attitude. Yet the degree of our sympathy toward it is slight indeed. Men ought indeed to exercise faith in God on other grounds. Nevertheless, the miracles of the New Testament were at once exhibitions of divine power as well as of divine love. As such they were, in many who actually beheld them, direct begetters of faith. Furthermore, they were intended, among other things, to have just that effect. John said: “Many other signs truly did Jesus in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written that ye might believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing ye might have life through his name” (Jn. 20:30, 31).

Our Lord’s first miracle was a faith inspirer. Thus we are historically informed: “This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” And later in the same chapter it is related: “Now when he was at Jerusalem . . . many believed on his name, when they saw the miracles which he did” (Jn. 2:11, 23).

We next read concerning Nicodemus. When he came to Jesus on his famous night visit, he evidently did not understand Jesus to be the Son of God. But he did understand him as some most extraordinary person in whom the divine presence was specially manifested. The reason given for this belief was the miraculous power exhibited.

His far-famed words are: “Rabbi, we know that thou art a teacher come from God; for no one can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him” (Jn. 3:1–3). Here was a learned contemporary. He had personal acquaintance with the facts. Yet he, a competent witness, was reasonably convinced that the Galilean prophet was a doer of deeds termed miracles (or signs).

Moreover, Christ himself was not above appealing to his own works as evidence of his divine mission and nature. When the imprisoned John sent his delegation to Jesus with an inquiry as to his Messianic nature, Jesus met the messengers by an appeal to his miraculous works. “Go a...

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